The following farms and businesses support the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative. They provide meats, eggs, dairy products and other animal products under a number of individual choices for both the farmer and the customer. As recommended by the 2010 Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local newsletter, “consumers are encouraged to contact their local growers directly to learn more about their individual growing and farming practices.”
The farms listed below sell a variety of products from meats, eggs, dairy and milk to yarns and herbs. Most sell on-site, but always confirm the farmer’s availability by telephone beforehand. The majority are also involved in their local farmers market and have a presence there. Some farms sell their products online or by mail order and I’ll indicate as much in their listing. Please remember though, that some products – such as soft cheeses – are only shipped during the winter months. For summer, you’ll have to meet up with the farmer at his or her farm.
Most farms sell to “retail” clients such as private consumers, but a few indicate that they sell only to restaurants.
The way in which the meat products are considered “green” varies and does not follow a strict definition. For instance, most of the listed meat producers raise pastured creatures. Some indicate only that the beef is “grass finished.” Others note “free range” which may or may not mean the same thing, depending on the animal. Some farms indicate that their animals are “hormone-free” and others are silent on the subject. Take the newletter’s advice to consumers and ask the farmer. And remember the USDA’s new mantra, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.”
In a curious juxtaposition, as these farms and their farmers return to an older way of raising their stock and bringing meat to market, they also embrace the new.
All the farms listed have at least an email contact and most have very informative websites where consumers can learn of the farmer’s philosophy and working definition of “green.”
Against the Wind Ranch
Farmer: Sarah Chaney
Specialty: Grass-Fed Beef
PO Box 117
Sells Via: Online/Mail Order
Ginseng Mountain Farm
Specialty: Lamb. Beef. Marinade
6359 Potomac River Road
Blue Grass, VA
Sells Via: On-site. Online. Home Deliveries. Highland Farmers Market. Restaurants.
2010 Shenandoah Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local newsletter, Virginia Cooperative